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Health Services

The Dutch medical system may be different from the system you use at home. However, should you require any medical assistance or emergency services, the following information will inform you on the steps you will need to take.

If you are planning on studying or interning in the Netherlands, it is recommended that you go over what medical costs are covered during your stay and what type of insurance you will need.

General health matters


  • If there is an emergency or a life-threatening situation,  please call 112, the emergency number. They can assist you with, police, firemen and health practitioners.
  • For police matters that are not an emergency, please call 0900-8844

General Practitioners

In the Netherlands, a general practitioner (GP) or family doctor is called a 'huisarts'. GPs can be visited during consulting hours, after making an appointment by telephone.

We strongly advise you to register with a GP as soon as possible. To find one you can ask your neighbours or your student manager for advice. After you have registered with a GP you can make an appointment.

Please take notice of the following

  1. In the Netherlands, you are not permitted to go directly to the hospital (unless it is an emergency). If treatment by a specialist is needed, you should first consult a GP, who will give you a referral letter. Remember to make a photocopy of the referral letter for your medical insurance company. Remember to take your insurance card with you whenever you visit a GP, dentist, hospital or pharmacy.

  2. The GP will not always prescribe medicine. In some cases, a GP will make house calls but bear in mind that these consultations may be more expensive.

  3. Please do not forget to make an appointment before going to any GP surgery.

Should you urgently need the help of a GP at night, during the weekend or on public holidays, you should call the central ‘After-hours GP service’ (Centrale Doktersdienst). In most cases, they will ask you to come over for a consultation.

Van Swietenlaan 2b
9728 NZ Groningen
Tel: 0900 - 92 29 (€0,10 per minute). Please keep your insurance card at hand when you call.

Opening hours: evening 17.00 - 08.00, during the day on weekend 08.00 - 08.00


Physiotherapy Kroon (in Dutch: Fysiotherapie Kroon) is an established practice in the Sports University of Groningen and Hanze University, ACLO Zernike, and at the station ACLO.

ACLO Zernike

Blauwborgje 16
9747 AC

ACLO Station

Stationsplein 7
9726 AE


In the Netherlands, a pharmacy (apotheek) and a drugstore (drogist) are not the same. A drugstore only sells toiletries and drugs for minor complaints such as headaches, toothaches, colds, and flu. However, if the doctor or specialist gives you a prescription for medicine, you must take the prescription to a pharmacy. You will need to register with your local pharmacy just as you do with your general practitioner (GP). Each area of the city has at least one pharmacy. Pharmacies observe regular office hours, but the central pharmacy opposite the main entrance of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) is open 24 hours a day.

Importing Medication

Visitors should be aware that not all medication may be brought into the Netherlands. it is advised to contact the embassy of the country that you are travelling to. The embassy can tell you whether you need a medical certificate for your specific medication.

Pharmacy Hanzeplein

(Apotheek Hanzeplein)
Hanzeplein 122
9713 GW Groningen
tel: + 31 (0)50 311 50 20 (during office hours)
fax: + 31 (0)50 311 50 21 (in Dutch)
From 8 p.m. and at weekend, please call: 0900 111 50 20 (€ 0.20 p/m)
Remember to take your insurance documents with you whenever you visit a GP, dentist, hospital or pharmacy

Hospital and Emergencies

In the Netherlands, it is not usual to go to the hospital (Ziekenhuis) for minor symptoms like headaches or stomach aches. Therefore, unless you have a serious symptom please visit your general practitioner (GP). Emergency rooms are very expensive and unless you condition is life-threatening, you will be sent to your GP anyway. However, if your GP thinks it is necessary for you to go to the hospital he or she will give you a referral to the appropriate specialist.

Every hospital provides first-line care in the event of an accident or emergency. At the hospital, look for the entrance marked EHBO or Eerste Hulp (First Aid). The first time you go to a hospital to see a specialist or to have tests or emergency treatment, remember to take your insurance card with you.

If there is an emergency or a life-threatening situation, please call 112, the emergency number. They can assist you with, police, firemen and health practitioners.

Groningen has two hospitals:

University Medical center Groningen (UMCG)

Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ Groningen
Tel + 31 (0)50 361 61 61
Website: Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen

Martini Hospital

Van Swietenplein 1, 9728 NX Groningen
Tel + 31 (0)50 524 52 45
Website: Martini Ziekenhuis


If you are in need of a dentist. Please contact the information desk at the Department of Dentistry for an appointment. Dentistry is privatised in the Netherlands and not covered by basic insurance policies (except for children under 18 and specialist dental care, such as surgery). Remember to check whether dental care is in included in your insurance package. If it is, ask for a receipt in order to get a refund from your insurance company later. If you are here for a long period of time and need a simple check-up be aware that you will be placed on a waiting list, meaning that it may take a couple of weeks before you get an appointment. However, you will be given an appointment immediately for emergency dental care.

Department of Dentistry

(in Dutch: Centrum voor Tandheelkunde en Mondzorgkunde)


Antonius Deusinglaan 1
9713 AV Groningen

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m and 13.00 p.m - 17.00 p.m

Phone Number:

by tel + 31 (0) 50 361 65 05*

Emergency telephone number (only after 5 p.m.): +31 (0)50 363 30 45*

*Note: Answering machine is only in Dutch! When you call, you will get the options menu. Do not hang up, you will be automatically connected to a receptionist.

University Confidential Advisor

The confidential advisor assists staff and students who are experiencing unwanted conduct (such as sexual harassment, aggression, violence, discrimination and bullying) or unequal treatment. The confidential advisor is independent and has the right to access all necessary information from the people involved.

University confidential advisor

Visserstraat 47- 49
9712 CT Groningen
Tel + 31 (0)50 363 54 35
Website: Confidential Advisor (Login required)

Consulting hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment only. You can make an appointment by telephone.

Psychological help

Culture shock and homesickness

Moving to a new environment different from one’s own can be a challenge. Culture shock is part of the process of learning to live and adapt to a new culture. Upon arrival you may find the new situation exhilarating and exciting, but as time passes you may start to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Your experiences may go from being interesting to sometimes being irritating. This kind of disorientation is normal after arriving in a new culture and does not necessarily mean that you will need professional help. However, if these problems begin to affect your studies and personal life, you can always ask the counsellors for help.

Common Problems

Most personal, academic, relationship or identity problems can be addressed through counselling. These include lack of concentration, fear of failure, anxiety, stress, depression, family and/or relationship difficulties as well as addictions, eating disorders or sexual problems.

The University Psychological Counselling Service is available for all students of the University of Groningen.  Personal details, as well as the content of the counselling sessions, are confidential. The Student Service Centre has a team of professionally trained and widely experienced female and male psychologists, who are accustomed to helping people from many different backgrounds and cultures as well as persons with a wide range of personal and academic issues.

Remember to make an appointment before going to the university psychologists. You can make an appointment by telephone Monday to Friday from 8.45 a.m. till 4.30 pm.  

Student Service Centre - Psychological Counselling

Uurwerkersgang 10
9712 EJ Groningen
050 - 363 8066
E-mail: (please state your student number)
website: (Studentportal, login required)

Vaccinations, tests and anonymous treatment

At the Public Health Department (In Dutch: Gemeenschappelijke Gezondheids Dienst (GGD)), you can obtain information on all kinds of health-related subjects. The Public Health Department also administers vaccinations and performs tests for diseases. By going to the Public Health Department, you have the option to remain anonymous. Dutch doctors have a professional code of ethics that forbids them from passing on information about their patients, even to the authorities.

Foreigners who come to the Netherlands do not usually have to be vaccinated at the GGD. However, people coming from high-risk areas are advised to have a test for tuberculosis. They are obliged to have one test as a precondition for obtaining a residence permit. Please note that a second test is not compulsory, but highly recommended by the GGD.

Public Health Department (GGD)
Hanzeplein 120
9713 GW Groningen
Appointments by telephone: +31 (0)50 367 40 00
N.B. Remember to always make an appointment before going!

To make an appointment for Tuberculosis (TBC) tests
tel. + 31 (0)50 367 41 00*
*Note: you are only able to make appointments between 1.30 and 4 pm

Last modified:30 August 2018 3.26 p.m.